LeBron James secured a unique place for himself in NBA history in the Miami Heat's 117-104 win over the Portland Trail Blazers, becoming the first player to score 30 or more points with a field-goal percentage of 60 percent or higher in six consecutive games.
James notched 30 points on 11-of-15 shooting, dished out nine assists and grabbed six rebounds to lead the Heat to their sixth straight win and 11th victory in their last 13 games.
Prior to Tuesday night's game at the American Airlines Arena in Miami, James had shared the record with former NBA greats Adrian Dantley (1979) and Moses Malone (1982).
James set the mark with 2:38 remaining in the game with a spectacular dunk off a pass from reserve guard Ray Allen.
The three-time NBA MVP has connected on a mind-boggling 70-of-96 field-goal attempts dating back to Feb. 3, when his unprecedented streak of efficient play began.
James also has scored at least 20 points in each of the 25 games played so far this year on the Heat's home court.
"I'm at a loss for words," James said in an on-court interview afterward. "Like I say over and over, I know the history of the game. I know how many unbelievable players who came through the ranks, who paved the way for me and my teammates. And for me to be in the record books by myself with such a stat - any stat - it's big-time."
The other two members of the Heat's "Big 3" - Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade - also made major contributions during the game, which was filled with wild momentum swings.
Bosh notched a double-double with 32 points and 11 rebounds for the Heat, while Wade scored 24 points, grabbed nine rebounds and handed out seven assists.
Ray Allen also showed his value off the bench by scoring 14 points.
Miami surrendered 14-point leads on two occasions, but a 14-0 spurt late in the fourth quarter sealed the victory for the defending league champions, who lead the Eastern Conference standings with a record of 35-14.
Point guard Damian Lillard, a leading rookie-of-the-year candidate, led the way with 33 points for the Blazers, who lost their fourth straight game and now stand at 25-27.
Forward LaMarcus Aldridge scored 29 points but grabbed just five boards as the Blazers - who also saw a 14-point lead of their own evaporate at one stage - were outrebounded by a margin of 32-25.
Wesley Matthews also scored in double figures for Portland, tallying 20 points on 8-of-13 shooting.
But it was the Blazers' inability to contain Heat, who shot a blistering 58 percent from the field, that was their downfall.
In other action Tuesday night in the NBA, the Toronto Raptors edged the Denver Nuggets 109-108, the Memphis Grizzlies defeated the Sacramento Kings 108-101, the Utah Jazz surprised the Oklahoma City Thunder 109-94, the Los Angeles Lakers rallied past the Phoenix Suns 91-85, and the Houston Rockets topped the Golden State Warriors 116-107. EFE